Date: 31st October 2000

Movie Producers Call For Early Bargaining

Warning that a "de facto" shutdown of the motion picture and television industries is shaping up as studios and filmmakers speed up production time tables to complete projects before union contracts expire next year, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on Monday called for bargaining to begin "as soon as practical." According to today's (Tuesday) issue of the online Inside magazine, AMPTP execs have already contacted the Writers Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists about beginning early talks. SAG issued a statement saying that it hoped to begin talks "in the next two months." WGA president John Wells said in another statement that the guild was "ready to sit down with the AMPTP as soon as we have reason to believe that the companies are serious. ... (However), if the AMPTP is going to come forward with rollbacks, that would signal they are not serious." Meanwhile, today's Hollywood Reporter quoted Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles county Economic Development Corp., as saying that a strike could cost the local economy $1.8 billion-$2 billion.

Source: Studio Briefing